December 2021

Nonprofit Organizations Digest

3 min

Venable's Nonprofit Organizations Practice is pleased to share recent articles, presentations, and video-recorded webinars by our attorneys. This digest brings together some of our most interesting and useful materials, available for your use in tackling the difficult legal challenges facing your organization.

Notable Articles and Publications

Handling Post-Pandemic Harassment and Discrimination Claims

As the era of remote work ends for many businesses, nonprofit employers may need a refresher on the way they handle employee and third-party claims of workplace harassment and discrimination. As employees start rolling in, keep in mind that, although your employees have changed, the laws that govern workplace behavior and interactions have not. During this presentation we will explore best practices – and landmines – in handling employee and third-party claims of harassment and discrimination.

Best Wishes for Hosting a Compliant Raffle

The holiday giving season is upon us. Many nonprofit organizations will be focused on Giving Tuesday, their corporate supporter arrangements like matching campaigns and charitable sales promotions, and traditional, direct donor fundraising efforts as we close out the year. But another often-considered fundraising structure, especially with end-of-year events resuming (or at least inching toward pre-pandemic levels), is the trusted charitable raffle.

New York Permanently Allows Virtual Membership Meetings for Nonprofits

On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that permanently gives New York not-for-profit and religious corporations the ability to hold virtual-only membership meetings, and not-for-profit corporations the ability to hold hybrid membership meetings that combine the virtual presence of some members with an in-person membership meeting. This change provides membership organizations, associations, professional societies, country clubs, churches, synagogues, mosques, charities, social welfare organizations, and other nonprofit and religious corporations incorporated in New York with modernized governance flexibility continuing beyond the unique public health and safety challenges associated with COVID-19.

Fiscal Sponsorships: A Review of Legal and Practical Issues

In the increasingly complex world of charitable organizations, the use of fiscal sponsorships to accomplish charitable goals has become more prevalent. Fiscal sponsorship arrangements raise questions for both the entity attempting to promote a charitable project and donors asked to contribute to a program housed at a fiscal sponsor. This seminar will explore the rules for establishing and operating a fiscal sponsorship and will focus on some of the practical concerns that arise in operating a fiscal sponsorship, including employment and contractual issues.

IRS Issues More Definitive Standards for Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Limited Liability Companies

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Notice 2021-56 on October 21, 2021, formalizing the standards that a limited liability company (LLC) must meet to obtain IRS recognition of Section 501(c)(3) tax-exemption. The Notice is a welcome update on LLC qualification for Section 501(c)(3) recognition because the last IRS guidance on this topic was nonbinding and issued 20 years ago, shortly after LLCs emerged as a new form of business structure in the 1990s. Since that time, LLCs have become widely used by nonprofit organizations in structuring subsidiaries, such as to house specific activities and corral potential liability, to provide for less formal governance, to pilot new projects or joint ventures, and to allow for some distance from the parent organization's brand.

Upcoming Event

Election Year Considerations for Nonprofits: What Your Organization Needs to Know

January 11, 2022 | Washington, DC

With the 2022 midterm elections right around the corner, knowing how to navigate the web of federal and state regulations that govern nonprofit organizations’ electoral activities has never been more important. As nonprofits seek to engage politically at every level of government, understanding how to participate in elections – from contributions to communications – while complying with the myriad of limits, disclosure issues, and tax implications is vital to the success of your organization.